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Block funding for Manitoba social workers to provide spending flexibility, says Province

Click to play video 'Manitoba switching to new funding plan for child-welfare agencies' Manitoba switching to new funding plan for child-welfare agencies
WATCH: Manitoba Families Minister Heather Stefanson said the province will adopt a new funding format for authorities that oversee child-welfare agencies – Feb 11, 2019

The Manitoba government is changing the way it funds child-welfare agencies.

The Progressive Conservative government says it’s abandoning a complex formula based largely on how many children are in the care of each agency.

Starting in April, the province will adopt what is known as block funding — giving a set amount of money upfront to four regional authorities that oversee 24 child-welfare agencies.

READ MORE: Reduce Manitoba kids in care using prevention tools, says report

Families Minister Heather Stefanson says the change will let agencies spend more on family support and prevention measures, instead of providing an incentive to seize children.

She says the effect should be more money for child welfare overall, but details are still being worked out as part of preparation for the spring provincial budget.

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Opposition NDP Leader Wab Kinew says he’s worried the government will use the change to cut funding as part of its drive to balance the budget.

RELATED: The Manitoba government is looking to reduce the number of children in care and the length of time they spend in care

Click to play video 'Manitoba government vowing to reduce number of kids in care' Manitoba government vowing to reduce number of kids in care
Manitoba government vowing to reduce number of kids in care – Oct 13, 2017